Peter Laviolette won’t commit to Pekka Rinne as Preds’ Game 3 starter

Alec Ogletree Authentic Jersey
Patrick Marleau Authentic Jersey Pekka Rinne was a Conn Smythe success story in the making, the reason he and the Predators are making their first Stanley Cup Final appearance together.

The draft pick headed to Los Angeles, via the Canadiens, is condition-free regardless of whether the Stars are able to sign Bishop before the July 1 cutoff.

The three-time All-Star spent parts of the last five seasons with the Lightning until he was dealt to the Kings at this year’s trade deadline as insurance for regular starter Jonathan Quick, who at the time was recovering from a groin injury that cost him 59 games. Bishop made just six starts down the stretch as Los Angeles missed the playoffs.

Dean Lombradi, the Kings’ since-fired general manager, was known to have an interest in re-signing Bishop, but the new braintrust of Luc Robitaille and Rob Blake balked at committing top dollar to another goalie with Quick already under contract through the 2022-23 season.

The 30-year-old Bishop was making $5.95 million in the final year of his deal and is said to be seeking a raise.

Battling injury and splitting time with Andrei Vasilevskiy and Quick, Bishop appeared in 39 games last season — his lowest total since becoming a full-time starter in 2013 — and finished the year with a 2.54 goals-against average and .910 save percentage.

The Stars, with more than $10 million committed to Niemi and Lehtonen in 2017-18, will need to do some salary cap restructuring to lock up Bishop long term, but the deal seems to be a perfect fit for both sides.